Resistance to Leishmania major Induced by Tolerance to a Single Antigen

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Science  18 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5286, pp. 421-423
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5286.421


In mice, susceptibility to Leishmania major is associated with the early expansion of T helper 2 cells (TH2) cells, but nothing is known of the specificity of these cells. A previously identified antigen, Leishmania homolog of receptors for activated C kinase (LACK), was found to be the focus of this initial response. Mice made tolerant to LACK by the transgenic expression of the antigen in the thymus exhibited both a diminished TH2 response and a healing phenotype. Thus, T cells that are activated early and are reactive to a single antigen play a pivotal role in directing the immune response to the entire parasite.

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